Annual Town Meeting Actions
- Written by Administrator
• ARTICLE 2 allowed the reading of reports by town officers and town committees. The Percy Walker Pool Long Range Planning Committee gave an interim report. The Local Housing Partnership also gave a report. Selectmen honored the First Parish Church for its 375 anniversary with a proclamation and also recognized outgoing Selectman John Tuffy for his nine years of service on the board. Town Meeting Moderator Allen Bornheimer gave a report on the survey conducted last year about the location of town meeting. PASSED
• ARTICLE 3 set the compensation of the following elected town officials: selectmen, town meeting moderator, the assessors and the town clerk. The total amount requested was $72,040. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 4 allowed the acceptance of $329,051 in Chapter 90 money or state highway funding. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 5 was the FY08 operating budget for the town and schools totaling over $54.6 million. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 6 was the FY08 capital budget totaling over $3.61 million, including bonding, or borrowing, $3.15 million for the new Birch Street Water tank and spending $178,000, the majority from free cash, for six town capital items, as well as using $282,000 in water funds for three water department capital expenses. PASSED
• ARTICLE 7 was the Duxbury Personnel Plan and Compensation Schedule for raises for town managers and non-school and non-union town employees. There was $105,000 in this article to fund merit raises. PASSED
• ARTICLE 8 was for funding collective bargaining agreements for town unions. INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
• ARTICLE 9 funded $400,000 for the annual lease of Duxbury Beach from its owner, the non-profit, Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 10 funded $10,000 for the annual July 4th parade and celebration PASSED.
• ARTICLE 11 added $5,500 to the conservation fund used to manage 2,300 acres of conservation land and 750 acres of town land. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 12 allowed the adoption of a state law providing a property tax-relief program for senior citizens, replacing the local program run by the Council on Aging since 1996. The state program allows a $750 tax break for up to 10 seniors age 65 and older with no income requirements. The new program, also managed by the COA, allows for streamlined bookkeeping, because its tax break comes directly as an abatement on a senior's third quarter tax bill. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 13 reauthorized the Council on Aging revolving fund for up to $70,000, the Conservation Commission revolving fund for up to $15,000 and the Assessing Department's GIS revolving fund for up to $40,000. Revolving funds are accounts that are set up to take in fees for services that are then paid out for expenses incurred to offer the services. PASSED.
â' ARTICLE 14 is an annual article designating a sum of money for the Community Preservation Committee's operating budget. This year's allocation was $80,000. PASSED
â' ARTICLE 15 allots money for each of the Community Preservation Act's three legs of open space, affordable housing and historic preservation. This year $216,000 for each leg or a total of $648,000 was sought. PASSED
â' ARTICLE 16 sought $500,000 of Community Preservation Act funds for drainage improvements and site work related to the construction of two turf fields at the middle and high schools. PASSED
â' ARTICLE 17 asked for $125,000 of Community Preservation Act funds for plans and specifications for the restoration and preservation of the Tarkiln Community Center. PASSED
â' ARTICLE 18 requested a transfer of money from the Community Preservation Fund to the Water Enterprise Fund in the amount of $5,000 relating to the purchase of the Delano property. This article would now reimburse the Water Enterprise Fund for overpaying on the Delano property. PASSED
â' ARTICLE 19 sought to rescind unused funds from completed Community Preservation Act funded projects totaling $17,223. PASSED
• ARTICLE 20 allowed a trade of 1.65 acres of water department land off Franklin Street for 16,150 square feet of conservation land adjacent to the existing Birch Street water tank so the town can build the new $3.15 million water tank while still using the old tank. The swap provides access to a land-locked piece of conservation land off Franklin Street near Union Hall Road. An amendment to try to preserve the bulk of the water department land for possible future use and only provide the smallest access possible to the conservation land passed. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 21 gave selectmen permission to negotiate an easement to run 5,900 feet of water main across Earl Ricker's property on Mayflower Street. The purpose is to connect the Evergreen water treatment plan into the new high pressure zone on Duxbury's west side that will be created when the Birch Street water tank is built. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 22 requested voter authorization to enter Duxbury into an inter-municipal agreement with a coalition of other South Shore towns in order to provide mutual aid public health services. PASSED
• ARTICLE 23 was a citizen's petition to change the date of town elections from the fourth Saturday in March to the fourth Tuesday in March. FAILED
â' ARTICLE 24 Article 24 established two new streets. Hillside Lane would lead to a subdivision off of North Street and Amado Way would lead to a subdivision off of Laurel Street. PASSED
• ARTICLE 25 adopted a state law known as the Mullen Rule allowing a local board member to vote on an issue even if he has missed one public hearing as long as he reviews all evidence of the missed hearing, such as tape recordings and written records, and provides proof of doing this. This rule affects committees that hold adjudicatory hearings, such as the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Selectmen, Board of Health, and Conservation Commission. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 26 sought to amend Publicly-Owned Lands District portion of the town's zoning map to reflect parcels acquired through Community Preservation Act funds and to create a category for the Duxbury Housing Authority. PASSED
â' ARTICLE 27 was a revision to the town's zoning maps since 2004 to reflect lots from the 2006 Geographic Information Systems technology. PASSED
• ARTICLE 28 proposed changing the zoning bylaw definition of building coverage and site coverage. INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
• ARTICLE 29 allowed a zoning bylaw change for planned developments that requires applicants to submit a preliminary qualification to the town if they are interested in creating a planned development. PASSED.
â' ARTICLE 30 asked to change the demolition delay portion of the town's zoning bylaws from a six- month to a 12-month delay for homes deemed historically significant. FAILED
• ARTICLE 31 proposed changing the zoning bylaw definition of the grade, or slope, of a piece of land. INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
• ARTICLE 32 proposed changing the definition of building height in the zoning bylaw. INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
• ARTICLE 33 was a change to the pier portion of the town bylaw to prevent the Conservation Commission and the Board of Appeals from conflicting on the location of a pier as it relates to the salt march. PASSED
• ARTICLE 34 was an owner's petition to rezone a parcel of Bongi's Turkey Roost from residential to commercial. PASSED
• ARTICLE 35 proposed a new shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists on the East side of Tremont Street/Route 3A from Chestnut Street to Depot Street. The half-mile walking/bike path would be across the street from the town hall, cemetery and senior center and would use both private property and the state-right-of-way, which runs along the road. A grant will pay for the design. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 36 gave the town permission to seek a grant for a rapid notification telephone system with the capability to call all 8,500 Duxbury households during an emergency. The Duxbury Nuclear Advisory Committee and the Duxbury Emergency Management Agency will seek a grant of up to $6,000 from Entergy, owner of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 37 requested permission to seek a grant from Entergy, owner of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, for $1,320 to buy four hand-operated pumps for gasoline, necessary during an emergency evacuation when there is no electricity to run the computerized gas station pumps. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 38 sought voters' support for Duxbury officials to send a message to state and federal authorities that the public feels that Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station's aging management plan must include more frequent inspections of buried pipes and tanks and also require monitoring wells between the reactor and Cape Cod Bay to show if radioactively contaminated water is leaking into the bay. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 39 requested voters' support for having Pilgrim create a "complex plume transport model" that reflects actual weather conditions in this area. This would show what would really happen under this area's weather conditions if there was a nuclear leak at Pilgrim that sent a radioactive emission, or plume, into the air. The article also called for Pilgrim to install computerized combination wind/radiation monitors in surrounding communities that are linked by computers to state and local officials. PASSED.
• ARTICLE 40 would have requested $5,000 for software and consulting to help Duxbury's Alternative Energy Committee identify ways to reduce the town's energy usage. INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
• ARTICLE 41 was an annual article to add money to the town's savings account, the Stabilization Fund, from the free cash account. INDEFINITELY POSTPONED.
• ARTICLE 42 authorized the use free cash to reduce the tax rate. All free cash, $1,596,443, was used. PASSED.